What is CPD?
The nature of the engineering profession carries with it the responsibility of professional persons to practise strictly within their area of competence and knowledge. Staying abreast of developments and advancements within the profession is therefore a requirement that can be achieved by continuously maintaining and developing knowledge within the field of practice. Continued Professional Development (CPD) is a mechanism used by the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) to achieve this for registered professionals in South Africa.
ECSA defines CPD as: “The systematic maintenance, improvement and broadening of knowledge and skills, and the development of personal qualities necessary for the execution of professional and technical duties throughout a person’s engineering career.”
All persons actively practicing as engineering professionals are required to register with ECSA, the body charged by the Government in terms of the Engineering Professions Act, 2000 (Act 46 of 2000) to regulate the practice of engineering in South Africa. The Act charges ECSA: “to serve and protect the safety and health of the public by establishing and maintaining minimum standards of practice, knowledge and skills of registered engineering persons in the country as well as to establish and maintain standards of professional ethics among them.” Agreements with international bodies—Engineers Mobility Forum, and the Engineering Technologists Mobility Forum—allows registered persons to have international registration through ECSA’s CPD programme. CPD is used to determine the renewal of ECSA registration.
Technological advancement and development is a given. New solutions, new technologies, new applications, new information—all form part of a growing economy and a growing profession like engineering. Since engineering is one of the fastest growing sectors in our economy, it is therefore also a crucial sector for a country’s economic future. In fact, Prof Harry Seftel, medical doctor and popular television, radio and conference personality, always says: “Engineering has done more for the health of the population than the medical profession has”.
This is probably true in most sectors, not only medical—the core of development is engineering. Energy efficiency is seen by the South African government as the industry of the future and is listed (along with job creation) as one of the most important sectors for the future growth of our nation. Internationally it has been reported as the fastest growing industry in most countries.
For our economy to remain competitive, there is no choice but to embrace the developing sector of energy efficiency.
To ensure successful implementation of energy efficiency, professional strategies should be implemented by competent persons, who have maintained their knowledge in their field by ensuring they partake in Continued Professional Development (CPD) initiatives.
Who qualifies for CPD credits?
Persons registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) in the following professional categories: Professional Engineers, Professional Engineering Technologists, Professional Engineering Technicians and Professional Certified Engineers, Registered Technicians, and Master Technicians.
Registered candidates are required to undertake Continued Professional Development (CPD) for full registration.
Courses accredited for CPD must meet adequate standards as set by ECSA.
Who awards CPD credits?
The Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) recognizes certain voluntary associations (VA) of which membership can be obtained by professionals. A requirement from ECSA is that the associations are encouraged to present CPD activities, as well as assist their members in identifying CPD activities initiated by private providers.
The registered VAs are used as vehicles by ECSA to validate and monitor courses, seminars and conferences offered for CPD credits by these private providers to ensure that the activities are of adequate standard.
The SAEE has obtained validation of its initiatives through the ECSA VA’s the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) and the South African Institution of Mechanical Engineering (SAIMechE).
CPD validation of SAEE initiatives
The Southern African Association for Energy Efficiency (SAEE) prides itself in providing a platform for professional persons to contribute to the pool of knowledge within the energy efficiency sector, by not only sharing their own wisdom, but gaining knowledge through the variety of opportunities available within the SAEE, and earning ECSA CPD credits for this.
A total of 19 ECSA CPD credits can be earned by being involved in the following SAEE initiatives:
- 5 CPD credits for: Certified Energy Manager (CEM) course
- 3 CPD credits for: Certified Energy Audit (CEA) training
- 3 CPD credits for: Certified Measurement and Verification Professional (CMVP)
- 3 CPD credits: Industrial Energy Management training course
- 2 CPD credits provisionally validated for: Southern African Association for Energy Efficiency Convention (SAEEC2011)
- 1 CPD credit for: Mining and Industrial Energy Optimization (MIEO) seminar
- 1 CPD credit for: Energy Management Awareness Training for Plant Managers
- 1 CPD credit for: Seven Steps to Energy Efficiency Awareness
The SAEE is very proud of the fact that it can assist its growing market sector through making CPD opportunities available to South African professional persons. Its Energy Training Foundation (ETF) initiative is a US-based Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) approved training provider for Southern Africa (south of the equator) and presents the training courses under the auspices of the SAEE.
Our annual convention has been provisionally validated for 2 CPD credits for the SAEEC2011 event and the Mining and Industrial Energy Optimization (MIEO) chapter of the SAEE hosts country-wide seminars, bringing knowledge to the professional persons near their workplace.
More information on CPD
For more information on professional registration or renewal of registration with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), or Continued Professional Development (CPD) enquiries in general logon to www.ecsa.co.za.